X

Anthony Davis Breaks Down Lakers' New 'Aggressive' Approach Under HC Darvin Ham

Erin WalshOctober 1, 2022

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 03: Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on after being defeated by the Denver Nuggets 129-118 in a game at Crypto.com Arena on April 03, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Los Angeles Lakers are prioritizing an aggressive approach to the 2022-23 season in which the team's Big Three—LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook—should thrive.

While it often felt like the trio was stepping on each other's toes during the 2021-22 campaign, Davis told reporters Saturday that the team's new game plan under new head coach Darvin Ham will allow each player to do his thing with confidence.

"I think the biggest thing was everybody trying to be selfless, and now everybody is being aggressive," Davis said. "'Russ, you get it, go.' 'Bron, you get it, go.' I get it and go. Whoever. And that's been very helpful for all of us."

Davis added:

"Obviously we're unselfish teammates and we want to pass and do things [for our teammates], but at the same time we have to get going as well. And I think that's been the biggest change that we wanted to see from us three so far is, whoever gets it, let's be aggressive because it's going to open up the floor for everybody else.

"When we're all trying to be unselfish and share the wealth, the ball kind of ends up getting lost around the perimeter or we're going up against the shot clock. But when somebody is staying aggressive and Russ is getting downhill, Bron is getting downhill, it opens up the floor. Because they're aggressive where guys have to help out, they can kick it out to shooters."

Davis, James and Westbrook appeared in just 21 games together last season due to injuries and went just 11-10.

The Purple and Gold finished 11th in the Western Conference with a 33-49 record and missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2018-19 season.

Westbrook struggled immensely in his first season with the team, averaging 18.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.1 assists in 78 games while shooting 44.4 percent from the floor and 29.8 percent from deep.

That led the Lakers to shop Westbrook during the offseason. There wasn't much interest in the veteran point guard, considering his $47.1 million 2022-23 salary and the fact that L.A. has been unwilling to attach their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks to facilitate a trade.

If the Lakers want to improve this season, the team will have to find a way for Westbrook to be comfortable. However, it will also need to make sure both James and Davis remain healthy.

Ideally, Ham would like to start Westbrook alongside James and Davis to begin the year.

"We have a three-man package, actually a play call, that they're going thrive in, and it involves all three of them," Ham said. "I look forward to that being at a very, very high level. And there's different nuances in it that they can play around with. ... I trust all three of those guys."

Early indications show that Kendrick Nunn and Damian Jones will round out L.A.'s starting five.

The Lakers open the preseason on Monday against the Sacramento Kings, and the team's new strategy should be on full display.

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.